FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - Folly Beach leaders plan to provide an electronic payment option for drivers using the city’s existing paid parking spaces.
The City of Folly Beach says it made nearly $1.7 million in parking fees in 2021, an increase of almost 56% over 2020′s $1.1 million, before expenses.
Starting in January, the city will extend its “TapToPay” option so that every paid parking spot will have an electronic option. The city started rolling out the ParkWhiz program in some areas this summer as another option for payment.
City administrator Aaron Pope says they want to make it clear that through this program, they are not adding any additional paid parking, just adding an electronic option to existing pay-to-park spaces.
Pope says currently there are 2,881 right-of-way parking spaces on Folly Beach and 9% of those are paid spots. He says they plan to keep it that way for now.
All of the pay-to-park areas include public beach access, some areas of Arctic Avenue and the Washout on Ashley Avenue.
Folly Beach City Council will give a summary of their parking payment collection and traffic enforcement plan Tuesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
After expenses, Folly Beach says it made nearly $1.3 million in parking fees in 2021. That figure is more than they expected to make, after budgeting for $833,376.02 this year.
Pope says after the companies running the paid parking and parking enforcement programs are paid, the city uses the remaining funds to pay for road shoulder improvements, beach access improvements and repairs, public safety calls, beach and litter patrol, and extra sanitation runs at the beach accesses during the summer.
Folly Beach also reports that over 11,000 parking citations were issued this year and 79% of those have been collected.
The city’s parking contractor, Jared Glass, says they collect unpaid citations by sending late notices to folks who have a citation that is 30 days delinquent. If not paid, they send a follow-up late notice at 60 days informing them of the fine and the intention to release the owed fine to a collection agency. At 90 days, the citation is eligible to be sent to a collections agency to attempt to collect the fine.
Glass says they also have a vehicle immobilization device for violators that they encounter.
Pope says all paid access spots on Folly except for three will still offer a physical pay station option. Those are the 10E access, 1587E access, and the 1670E access.
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